Iran top legal cleric says morality police shut down

  • Demonstrators have called for an economic boycott from Monday to Wednesday
  • Raisi visited Tehran University on Wednesday for Student Day
  • The Ministry of Internal Affairs is silent on the situation of moral police

DUBAI, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Protesters in Iran called a three-day strike on Sunday, stepping up pressure on authorities after a state prosecutor said the arrest of a young woman had shut down the morality police that sparked months of protests. .

The Interior Ministry, which runs the morality police, did not confirm the closure, and Iranian state media said Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri was not in charge of overseeing the force.

Senior Iranian officials have repeatedly said they will not change the Islamic Republic of Tehran’s mandatory hijab policy, which requires women to dress modestly and wear headscarves, despite 11 weeks of protests against strict Islamic rules.

Hundreds of people were killed in the riots that began in September after Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who was arrested by moral police for violating hijab rules, died in custody.

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Protesters seeking to continue their opposition to Iran’s religious rulers have called for a three-day economic strike and a rally in Tehran’s Azadi (Freedom) Square on Wednesday, according to private messages shared on Twitter by accounts not verified by Reuters.

On the same day, President Ebrahim Raisi will address students in Tehran to celebrate Iran’s Students’ Day.

Similar calls for strike action and mass mobilization have fueled the unrest that has gripped the country in recent weeks – one of the largest anti-government protests in Iran since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

The activist HRANA news agency reported that 470 protesters had been killed by Saturday, including 64 minors. It says that 18,210 protesters were arrested and 61 members of the security forces were killed.

Iran’s Interior Ministry’s State Security Council on Saturday put the death toll at 200, the judiciary’s news agency Mizan reported.

Residents, posting on social media and in newspapers such as the Shargh daily, say there has been less moral policing on the streets in recent weeks as authorities try to prevent further protests.

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Iran’s semi-official Labor News Agency reported on Saturday that the moral police had been disbanded, citing Montazeri.

“The government that created this police force shut it down,” he said. According to him, the moral police is not under the jurisdiction of the judiciary, but it “continues to monitor behavioral actions at the community level.”

Al Alam state television reported that foreign media described her comments as “a retreat from the Islamic Republic’s stance on the hijab and religious morality as a result of the protests,” but that was all that could be gleaned from her comments. The moral police was not directly related to the judiciary.

DEATHS

State media reported that four men convicted of collaborating with Israel’s spy agency Mossad were executed on Sunday.

According to Tasnim news agency, they were arrested in June – before the unrest in the country – after the cooperation of the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guard.

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The Islamic Republic has long accused its arch-enemy Israel of conducting covert operations on its soil. Tehran recently accused Israeli and Western intelligence agencies of plotting a civil war in Iran.

The prime minister’s office in Israel, which oversees the Mossad, declined to comment.

Iranian state media reported on Wednesday that the country’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of four people for “the crime of collaborating with the Zionist regime’s intelligence services and the crime of kidnapping.”

Three more people were sentenced to five to 10 years in prison on charges of acting against national security, aiding kidnapping, and possessing illegal weapons, Mehr news agency reported.

Dubai Newsroom reporting was edited by Dominic Evans, Raissa Kasolowski, William McLean and Susan Fenton

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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